Singapore Chinese Orchestra

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Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Singapore Conference Hall.JPG
Singapore Conference Hall
Concert hallSingapore Conference Hall

Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO, Chinese: 新加坡华乐团) is Singapore’s only professional Chinese orchestra. Inaugurated in 1997, the 85-musician orchestra took on the twin role of preserving traditional arts and culture and establishing new frontiers through the incorporation of Nanyang music elements in its repertoire. SCO has impressed a broadening audience with its blockbuster presentations and is fast establishing itself among its counterparts around the world. Known for its high performance standards and versatility, the SCO is recognized through invitations to perform at numerous prestigious events locally and internationally. In line with its vision to be a world-renowned people’s orchestra, SCO continues to inspire, educate and communicate through its music.


In 1968, an amateur Chinese orchestra was established as part of the National Theatre under the auspices of the Minister of Culture,[1] and became a performing unit of the People's Association Cultural Troupe, the People's Association Chinese Orchestra. This became a professional orchestra in 1974.[1] It later changed its name to Singapore Chinese Orchestra and the Orchestra was inaugurated in 1996 as a national orchestra at the initiative of the then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.[2]


Since its inception, SCO has impressed a broadening audience with its blockbuster presentations and is fast establishing itself among its counterparts around the world. In 2002, it staged a symphonic fantasy epic Marco Polo and Princess Blue as part of the opening festival of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The following year, SCO produced a musical and visual conversation with Singapore’s most eminent multi-disciplinary artist Tan Swie Hian at the Singapore Arts Festival 2003. The orchestra celebrated Singapore’s 39th National Day in 2004 with a spectacular concert – Our People, Our Music – featuring 2,400 local music enthusiasts at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. In 2005, it produced a mega musical production, Admiral of the Seven Seas, as part of the Singapore Arts Festival 2005. In 2007, SCO was part of the 240-strong combined orchestra that performed at the Singapore National Day Parade. In the Singapore Arts Festival 2008, SCO joined hands with Theatreworks to present the ground-breaking production Awaking, which brought together Kunqu opera music and Elizabethan music. In 2009, SCO made history by becoming the first Chinese orchestra to perform in the opening week of the Edinburgh Festival, and in 2010, performed in Paris as part of the Singapour Festivarts.

Well known for its high performance standards and versatility, the SCO has performed at numerous prestigious events such as the World Economic Forum and International Summit of Arts Council in 2003, and the 2006 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meeting.

The orchestra also toured Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen in 1998 and Taiwan in 2000. In 2005, it performed at the Budapest Spring Festival and the Singapore Season in London and Gateshead. In 2007, SCO performed at the Beijing Music Festival, the Singapore Season in the China Shanghai International Arts Festival, and the Macau International Music Festival. In May 2014, SCO was invited to perform at the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival and in Suzhou to celebrate the Singapore-Suzhou Industrial Park’s 20th anniversary. These international platforms provided SCO with the opportunities to showcase its talents, propelling it to the forefront of the international music arena.

In line with its vision to be a world-renowned people’s orchestra, SCO widens its outreach by performing regularly at various national parks, communities and schools. SCO also commissions its own compositions and in 2006 and 2011, organised the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition that incorporates Nanyang musical elements from Southeast Asia. In 2012, SCO organised Singapore’s first 23-day National Chinese Orchestra Marathon, a spectacular feat that drew the participation of 31 local Chinese orchestras participated with over 44 performances and an audience of 20,000. On 28 June 2014, SCO created history through the second instalment of Our People Our Music by breaking two Guinness World Records with the Largest Chinese Drum Ensemble of 4,557 performers and the Largest Chinese Orchestra of 3,345 performers at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub. It is with this vision that SCO continues to inspire, influence, educate and communicate through its music.

Patron and board of directors[edit]

SCO board of directors
Patron Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Honorary Chairmen Mr Chew Keng Juea
Mr Robin Hu Yee Cheng
Mr Patrick Lee Kwok Kie
Chairman Mr Ng Siew Quan
Deputy Chairman Mr Wu Hsioh Kwang
Directors A/P Chan Tze Law
Mr Chen Hwai Liang
Ms Michelle Cheo
A/P Eugene Dairianathan
Mdm Heng Boey Hong
Mr Ho Tong Yen
Ms Susan Leong
Mr Jeya Poh Wan Suppiah
Mr Anthony Tan
Mr Paul Tan

List of musicians[edit]

Tsung Yeh[edit]

Tsung Yeh joined the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) as Music Director in January 2002. Under his direction, SCO expanded its repertoire with innovative works such as Marco Polo and Princess Blue — A Symphonic Epic, Instant is a Millennium – A Musical Conversation with Tan Swie Hian, The Grandeur of Tang, Thunderstorm, Admiral of the Seven Seas and Awaking. In Awaking, he melded Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu’s plays into one, elevating Chinese orchestral music to a higher level.

His perseverance and diligence have brought SCO’s performances to new heights, both musically and technically. Between March and April 2005, he led the orchestra on a tour to Europe at Barbican Center in London, The Sage Gateshead and the Budapest Spring Festival. In October 2007, SCO performed at the Beijing Music Festival, China Shanghai International Arts Festival, Macau International Music Festival, as well as at major concert halls in Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Shenzhen. In August 2009, SCO made history by becoming the first Chinese orchestra to perform in the opening week of the Edinburgh Festival. Tsung Yeh was awarded the Cultural Medallion 2013, the highest award given in the field of the arts in Singapore.

Quek Ling Kiong[edit]

Quek Ling Kiong was recipient of the National Arts Council’s (NAC) Singapore Young Artist Award (2002) and the NAC Cultural Fellowship (2013). He studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the NAC Overseas Scholarship, as well as the Lee Foundation and Singapore Hokkien Huay Kwan scholarships. He learned Chinese percussion from renowned master Li Min Xiong and Western classical percussion from Xue Bao Lun. He also explored various Chinese percussion arts with masters such as Li Zhen Gui, An Zhi Shun and Zhu Xiao Lin. After graduating from the Conservatory in 1997, he joined the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) and became its Percussion Principal.

Quek Ling Kiong’s career in professional conducting took off when he became SCO’s first Conducting Assistant in 2003. In 2004, he became SCO’s Assistant Conductor as well as the Conductor for the Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra (SYCO). In 2005, he debuted with SCO at the opening concert of the 12th International Conference of WASBE (World Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles). In 2006 and 2013, he led SYCO to perform at the Tainan International Arts Festival and Hsinchu Chinese Music Festival in Taiwan respectively.

Quek Ling Kiong was promoted to SCO’s Resident Conductor from 1 January 2013.

Moses Gay[edit]

Moses Gay began his conducting career as the youngest conductor to lead SCO. In 2011, Moses Gay has started his artistic partnership with SCO in year 2011 as its Conducting Assistant, whilst pursuing a master's degree in Orchestral Conducting at the China Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship under the tutelage of Youqing Yang and Tsung Yeh. He was SCO’s Young Assistant Conductor-in-Residence of SCO since August 2013.

At age 16, Moses Gay conducted for the first time with his school orchestra and received much appreciation and applause from audience. Renowned conductor, Ku Lap Man, who was present at that time commented that Moses will be the next rising star in the conducting circle. In 2009, he was presented with the “Conductor with the Most Promising Potential” award at a conducting masterclass held at the China Conservatory of Music. During his course of studies, he has attended various international conducting masterclasses by famous conductors including Vance George, Mark Gibson, Leon Gregorian, Marc Trautmann. He was also mentored by Alexander Polischuk at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory.

Moses Gay was appointed as SCO’s Assistant Conductor from 1 August 2014.

Instrumental musicians[edit]

SCO musicians
Instrument Musician Position
Gaohu Li Bao Shun Concertmaster
Zhou Ruo Yu Gaohu Associate Principal
Li Yu Long
Liu Zhi Yue
She Ling
Xu Wen Jing
Yuan Qi
Zhao Li
Erhu Zhao Jian Hua Erhu I Principal
Zhu Lin Erhu II Principal
Ling Hock Siang Erhu Associate Principal
Ann Hong Mui
Chen Shu Hua
Cheng Chung Hsien
Chew Keng How
Hsieh I-Chieh
Qin Zi Jing
Shen Qin
Tan Man Man
Zhang Bin
Erhu / Banhu Tao Kai Li
Zhonghu Lin Gao Zhonghu Principal
Wu Ke Fei Zhonghu Associate Principal
Chuan Joon Hee
Goh Cher Yen
Li Yuan
Neo Yong Soon Wilson
Sim Boon Yew
Wang Yi Jen
Cello Xu Zhong Cello Principal
Tang Jia Cello Associate Principal
Chen Ying Guang Helen
Huang Ting-Yu
Ji Hui Ming
Poh Yee Luh
Sim Lian Kiat Eddie
Double Bass Zhang Hao Double Bass Principal
Lee Khiang
Qu Feng
Wang Lu Yao
Yangqin Qu Jian Qing Yangqin Principal
Ma Huan
Pipa Yu Jia Pipa Principal
Goh Yew Guan
Tan Joon Chin
Zhang Yin
Liuqin Seetoh Poh Lam
Liuqin / Zhongruan Zhang Li
Zhongruan Zhang Rong Hui Ruan Principal
Lo Chai Xia Ruan Associate Principal
Cheng Tzu Ting
Foong Chui San
Han Ying
Koh Min Hui
Sanxian / Zhongruan Huang Gui Fang
Daruan Koh Kim Wah
Daruan / Zhongruan Jing Po
Harp / Konghou / Guzheng Ma Xiao Lan
Guzheng / Percussion Xu Hui
Qudi Yin Zhi Yang Dizi Principal
Bangdi Lim Sin Yeo
Bangdi / Qudi Zeng Zhi
Xindi Tan Chye Tiong
Xindi / Qudi Phang Thean Siong
Gaoyin Sheng Guo Chang Suo Sheng Principal
Ong Yi Horng
Zhongyin Sheng Cheng Ho Kwan Kevin
Zhong Zhi Yue
Diyin Sheng Lim Kiong Pin
Gaoyin Suona Jin Shi Yi Suona / Guan Principal
Chang Le Suona / Guan Associate Principal
Zhongyin Suona Lee Heng Quee
Meng Jie
Cizhongyin Suona Boo Chin Kiah
Diyin Suona Liu Jiang
Guan Han Lei
Percussion Duan Fei Percussion Associate Principals
Tan Loke Chuah
Ngoh Kheng Seng
Shen Guo Qin
Wu Xiang Yang
Xu Fan

Other musical positions[edit]

Position Musician
Conducting Assistant Low Cher Yong
Arranger-in-Residence Chuan Joon Hee
Lim Kiong Pin
Sim Boon Yew
Assistant Conductor Quek Ling Kiong

Names of all musicians, apart from the principal and associate principal, are listed in alphabetical order.

Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra[edit]

Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra participating in the Tainan International ChiShi Art Festival.

The Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO) is a group of young musicians between the ages of 11 to 25 years old. It has been under the management of Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) since 2003 and held its premiere concert in 2004. Until January 2017, it was named the Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra (SYCO).[3]


SYCO Committee 2018
President Dingwan Chenxi
Vice-President Kong Yik Hung
Secretary Jiang Peiyan Jasmine
Scores Coordinator Low likie, Janika Oh
Wardrobe Coordinator Selina Chew, Tay Zhong En
Welfare Coordinator Cyril Ngai

List of musicians[edit]

Management team[edit]

Musician Appointment
Tsung Yeh Advisor
Quek Ling Kiong Music director
Moses Gay Conductor

Instrumental musicians[edit]

SNYCO musicians 2017
Instrument Musician Position
Gaohu Ryan Lim Ming Zheng Concertmaster
Deborah Siok Li Chin
Tan Keng Li Sophia
Shane Lim Hui
Cao Wenhui
Zhang Ying
Han Xin Yi
Ng Ting Si, Teresa
Erhu I Wo Kheng Pak Kevin Erhu I Principal
Low Likie
Shi Peiyun
Teo Yin Song, Gerald
Ong Ai Hui
Nicodemus Yim Wai Tuck
Ye Yun Bing
Liu Sichang
Xie Yu Han
Lee Jie Yin
Erhu II Li Siyu Erhu II Principal
Yim Kum Foong, Christine
Jarrett Seah Yu Cheng
Andrea Yee Pei Ling
Stephanie Ow Jia Min
Fu Kai Lin Caitlin
Yoo Zi Ying Rachel
Amanda Toh Sze Suan
Zhonghu Aaron Ang Yue Xiang Zhonghu Principal
Cyril Ngai (Wei ZiLi)
Bian Chang
Jiang Peiyan Jasmine
Tan Kwan Xuan Benedict
Wu Sining
Desmond Soo Kim Hock
Cello Eunice Koh Kai’En Cello Principal
Clynton Loh Thiam Wee
Tan Shi Ling Denise
Tricia Lim Yun Qi
Wong Yan Jun
Elton Teo Kai Jie
Tok Jie Yi Joey
Double Bass Chee Jun Hong Double Bass Principal
Koh Yi Ling, Tizane
Leung Yong Ting Nicole
Koh Khai Chuan
Yangqin Su Xin Yee Yangqin Principal
Xu KaiJia
Tan Jie Qing
Pipa Wang Si Yuan Pipa Principal
Yu Man
Chen Xinyu
Liuqin Chua Rui Yi
Li Xiyue
Zhongruan Megan Tan Wen Qi Ruan Principal
Hoo Yin Huin
Teo Shu Hui, Emilea
Lim Yu Xin
Chong Shao Yih
Hing Xinhui Sherry
Chew Jing Qi, Selina
Daruan / Sanxian Wang Le Yi
Daruan Chien Hung Hsun
Wong Wai Kit
Guzheng Jerica Fung Chor Yee
Soh Qi Ling
Yang Tingjun
Bangdi Ang Ru Yi
Song Xinyi
Xindi Leslie Low Guan Yin
Ng Wei Xuan
Qudi Sherman Lee Le Xuan Dizi Principal
James Ding Sinuo
Gaoyin Sheng Lee De Jie Sheng Principal
Leong Jia Wen
Zhongyin Sheng Kong Yik Hung
Elston Aw Yu Xuan
Diyin Sheng Kelvin Sim Kai Wen
Gaoyin Suona Ling Xiao Jun Suona Principal
Ng Qi Yang
Low Lex
Zhongyin Suona Dingwan Chenxi
Li Zong Xian
Cizhongyin Suona Jacky Ng Yong Hoe
Lee Kang Quan
Diyin Suona Chan De Rui
Guanzi Koh Wee Hrng
Ow Song Sim Dennys
Percussion Guo Jia Percussion Principal
Lim Rei
Janika Oh Ja-Min
Nicholas Teo Jorquan
Randy Tan Chen Howe
Ong Jia Yong
Wang Xin Hang
Tay Zhong En
Lim Jing Yi


Instructor Instrument
Xu Wen Jing Gaohu / Zhonghu
Ling Hock Siang Erhu
Helen Chen Cello
Zhang Hao Double Bass
Zhang Li Liuqin
Lo Chai Xia Ruan
Zhang Yin Pipa
Qu Jian Qing Yangqin
Xu Hui Guzheng
Liu Jiang Suona
Lim Sin Yeo Dizi
Ong Yi Horng Sheng
Han Lei Guan
Duan Fei Percussion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Frederick Lau (2007). Music in China. Oxford University Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0195301243.
  2. ^ "PAssion Arts Partners: The Singapore Chinese Orchestra". People's Association. Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra to perform at Esplanade Concert Hall on March 18". Singapore Chinese Orchestra. 22 February 2017.

External links[edit]